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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Bright Ideas!

gardens-2392

So it’s raining! squalls coming and going thunder rumbling can’t work in the garden or on the finca, and looking out of the window does not help. All is grey and – if you can see anything – it’s even grayer, and we are getting bored what do we do????  Go to the SEASIDE of course. Well usually its go shopping in the hypermarkets where you can wander round looking at things and be warm and dry all at the same time, well that’s the theory but Michael says we tend to spend money on things we don’t really want but think are a good idea at the time – we have a few of those purchases knocking around.

So with the shops in mind I did not take my camera, tablet or phone, as who wants to take photos of shops??  So off we set in weather that by rights should not be allowed, and headed up out of the valley towards the mountains and the pass to the coast. We had not been going long before the rain came in again window-wipers going fast we began catching up on others heading the same way, then we found we had a convoy with a lorry in the lead.  Nothing we could safely do so we sat in the convoy as we weaved our way towards the mountains.  Then the rain lifted and we could see a clear stretch of road overtaking was on.  Three of us managed to get past the lorry before a car without lights on came hurtling along the road towards us, (obviously some people like dicing with death). Every car on the road was lit up like a christmas tree but not this one, he was almost up to us before we saw him and the cars colour made him almost invisible. But we didn’t have time to ponder on his stupidity, the rain came down again so holding onto the tail lights of the car in front we drove on.

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This is not the worst weather we have been in, I remember the journey home from St.Marlow one winters night. We had returned from one of Michael’s medical trips and I had driven down France in torrential rain with thunder and lightning (of which I am terrified) going off. We finally made it to the Pyrenees then it began to snow!!! So Michael took over the driving and the higher we went towards the pass and tunnel the harder it snowed.  When we reached the pass we found it was blocked there had been an avalanche but there was a hotel….  We stopped took a good look and both thought of the ‘Bates Motel’ then turned round and with another car who’s occupants had the same thoughts returned to the town and spent the night there – but I digress.  As we approached the uphill climb to the pass there was a 40fter in front so we were all thankful for the crawler lane and sped past him once in the pass we were back in a convoy with a 40fter in front and behind and 6 cars in the middle.  It was when we arrived at the tunnels we saw the snow…..

The Seaside!

1980

No this is not where we went but its a better picture than we saw that day. SO, on the way into Tarragona Michael said you know I’ve always wanted to see the beaches the other side of the city and the Roman ruins, we can shop later..  With that in mind we headed off towards the north side. Now we thought that the squalls over the mountains were bad enough but boy you should have seen the ones that came rolling in from the Med.  By this time we wanted a cup of coffee and found this beachside café/restaurant open with a covered in area. There was a good surf running but no takers we soon found out why proving that not all surfers are daft. So as it was lunchtime and wet we decided to hell with it we would eat there and watch the seagulls and the surf. The food was really good we had a cheese and jamon pizza with a seafood salad followed by the most delicious cheesecake. Whilst eating we were treated to a grandstand view of the squalls speeding in. There were large ships anchored outside the port and one minuet you could see them then a squall hit and they vanished whilst the rain shook the covered area as it beat against the windows.   So that was our day out.

 

DSCF2434 (640x480)[1]There was some more good news the robins are back. we thought we had lost them as we didn’t see one last year but this week we saw two.   Oh and don’t forget Clearing in the Forest by M D Bosc –  a book for Christmas.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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Well what a strange night and day we are having/had. I blame the wife myself.  Yesterday she was out in the garden in the sunshine 15dgs watering and looking at some rather dubious clouds that were skirting the valley whilst mumbling  we need some rain get over here……

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Later on the drumming of a good rain storm could be heard she had got her way BUT when I got up this morning SNOW! SNOW!  The forest looked really wintry with its light dusting of snow maybe not a lot, but there it was. A bleary eyed bod got out of bed saying your daft “where’s the snow” wandered to the front door opened it looked outside closed it came back to bed snuggled down saying “yep that’s snow”! Not the normal response and no dash for the camera, but still it was around 4am…..

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True to form she who watches the weather – did not see this coming – was out before brekky getting the logs and starting wood in – thinks saws, axes and me don’t go well together – wonder why? any way words of “we will not be cold”  were heard and she was enjoying herself so I made the tea and got brekky.  We are having a curry for dinner the pan is on the fire and we are cosy and warm  not bad.  Just going to see what the weather is going to do tomorrow then a glass dinner and Rugby.  Ohhh  dont like the look of this  more snow could be on way guess who’s off to the wood pile, girl scout or what…..

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It may not look like much to you but believe me this is an event.  Usually when it snows no matter how deep its gone by midday so to us its something.

Keep warm and safe everyone,  “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow”  Keep warm peeps

 

© Michael Douglas Bosc

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This is what we should have seen

So today we were supposed to have snow, did we? Well let me tell you what happened.

This all started around Friday. We had been looking at the weather chart for our area and getting rather excited because according to the predictions we should have been in for some rain then snow.  Oh we fall for it every time.  Friday arrived bright and sunny if a little cold, so we decided to get some wood and even sat outside drinking coffee in relative comfort. However as the afternoon drew in we had 6 flakes of snow.  The nights here have been really cold and on Friday morning I found a bucket of water was literally a lump of ice.

On Saturday it was a sports day Rugby 6 Nations on the tv so I made my mind up it was to be a jimjam day in front of the fire. But again the weather was sunny so we went wooding again. In the forest further up from us are 4 very large pine trees which were blown over about a year ago, this meant they were just right for burning, so along with the chainsaw my wife and I set to work. Now you would think that two humans and a very noisy chainsaw would frighten the birds, don’t believe it. As fast as I was sawing and my wife taking the wood to the road this big fat Robin with a brightly coloured chest was bossing his way around the area, looking for whatever he could find.  I had left my wife searching for small bits of wood while I took a load of wood home and on my return I was surprised to see not one but several Robins busy sifting through the sawdust and discarded tree bark for tasty morsels.

Well with wood stored and firewood in house I reverted to my original idea and settled in front of the fire and tv to see both games and of course England win the Calcutta Cup. The night got really really cold another look at the weather chart suggested that sometime during the night we might get snow.

This morning however we woke to a rather watery sky and the cold, made a cup of tea, lit the fire and returned to bed where it was warmer. Then the hunters arrived bringing with them a grey sky and lo it RAINED! Needless to say two very upset and bedraggled hunters returned to their car bemoaning the weather man.  My wife dashed to the weather chart and it showed rain which SHOULD have been around the 2mm mark and there were also lots of large snowflakes showing. Oh won’t we ever learn? It must have rained for about 20mins, we got all excited brought extra wood in got the camera ready and waited….  Suns out and yep you’ve guessed it we are still waiting, but one day………..

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As is the way of our life, nothing runs smooth or like clockwork, and today was no exception.  Every day this week I have been working on finishing the up-date to our Solar system. Everything had been going to plan, except I had run out of battery cable. Now this is a heavy-duty cable and very expensive. So after trying to find some in the local town without any luck, (well if I waited until Monday I could get it then) my wife had a brilliant idea.  Why not go to Reus and get it, after all there were large builders merchants there who sold cable should be no problem…..

So I had an even brighter idea, she could go shopping and I would play Petanca, as I had been working all week…  Around 3.00pm she dropped me off at the courts and headed out towards Reus and ‘the cable’ dum dum dummmmm..

Now not being there and she being a mere woman and English at that this is her story of what happened:-

“As I headed towards the mountain pass and the coast the grey skies that have dogged our days for the past week began to disappear.  Up into the pass and to my joy and amazement blue skies with a hazy sun were visible, not much traffic about so I could drive nice and easy along the twisting pass, through the gap between the ever-present wind generators so down onto the flat and towards Reus Industrial Park.   I was feeling in a good positive mood, then I came to where they are installing new bridges, on and offs to new roads.  There were signs saying this way to here, that way to there, total confusion for at least 3mins. I do wish they would not put the signs on ‘not finished’ bits, but at last I arrived at Leroy Merlins.

Now this, for the English among you is a larger version of B & Q, only here women are not assumed to know what they want or are talking about.  D.I.Y. has still not fully caught on.   I had some other bits to buy so after finding a bargain and armed with a small sample of what we wanted I headed for the cable section.  Lots there but not what I wanted, all small stuff,  plus when I asked if they had any the size we wanted this happened:  1) what did I want it for?  2) it was specialized and they did not sell it 3) was I sure that I had the right type of cable for the job? grrrrrr.  I know they were trying to be helpful but I was a WOMAN I mean hey, women don’t do this in Spain….

I next tried Bachouse the same result.  Then I visited two car/ tyre places but neither could help or suggest anywhere, so then I phoned Michael.  Go and ask Bridgestone was his suggestion, so I did.  Now ever since we have been here we have bought our tyres from the Bridgestone garage in Tarragona.  They have always looked after us and when Mitsubishi stopped making the tyres we were using they explained about how to get the new ones matriculated – here you cannot just put another set or even different makes of the car, as unless the paperwork matches you could be in for a few problems if you were stopped.

As the time was nearing 5.30pm I arrived at the garage, presented the cable and asked the question.  Ummm this is not for a car is it? No it’s for batteries, Solar.  Ummm momento!  off went the man out into the workshop to ask if anyone knew where I could get some cable from.  In a few minutes he was back, out came pen and paper, diagram drawn and instructions given I was on my way.  Well done Bridgestone!

I followed the diagram and for me, after two rounds of the large roundabout, and believe me that was really good, I eventually found the right road and, as described, at the end was the place I wanted.  I bought the cable and started home.

Back through Tarragona out past Reus and headed for the pass. As we – by now I was part of a convoy, three cars and a large lorry behind with more in front – headed up towards the start of the pass the wind picked up and what appeared to be sleet/snow began to settle on the window screen.   Ohhhh, memories of our last trip in bad conditions came back, and yes we do drive on Bridgestone tyres.  Anyway we all kept together at around 40mph and made it to the other side,  only to find the cloud had come down and was banking up against the range so now we had foggy sleet. Still it did not last long, once down on the valley floor the visibility was good and it had begun to rain.  Michael had told me he was in the Bar Somnis so I headed there to be greeted by a San Miguel and some patatas braves.”

Well I had to be kind as I said earlier no cable no TV….  We are now home,  fire is lit and I can complete the work tomorrow.  Just about to roast some chestnuts.

Cheers Bridgestone  and well done.

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 It has been a while since I wrote a blog on the weather where I mentioned reading of the huge Solar Storm on the 22nd October 2010 entitled ‘Weather From Space’.

Since then the weather patterns have taken on something of a ‘The Day After Tomorrow’  theme.  Large amounts of Snow, Lots and lots of rain bringing flooding, and tornado’s with high winds all over and now blackbirds are falling dead out of the sky’s over a small town in America. 

People are not stupid and the fact that no one has dared, and I do mean dared,  to comment  on either my blog or that of others who have noticed these events and passed comment, leaves lots of room for people’s speculation. So Imagine my surprise when reading in the English newspapers that the Met Office KNEW what was coming but decided the publice did not need to know at that point. I suppose it did not occur to them that people who are now cleaning up or cannot move back into their homes because of severe flooding may well of been able to protect themselves and not have their Christmases ruined. 

What about businesses who lost so much because of the weather and the Councils who could have had grit and salt in place – oh but I forget it is the Government who decide that sort of thing and they dont care!!!

It’s not that we don’t trust Governments – well we don’t – its more that everyone is spouting about ‘Global Warming’ and casting taxes left right and centre in the name of  ‘Global Warming’ that when something like this Solar Storm hits Earth, the fact that it disrupts communications, weather patterns and a host of other things instead of saying it’s happened and warning about the possibilities of sever weather and disrupted communications, they all keep very, very quiet.  So when sever snow or rain/flooding comes no one is prepared. No stocks of salt or sandbags are ready for use, I wonder if that scientist was right we are still in an Ice Age and they have got it wrong about Global Warming. 

Wich beggers this author to ask the question WHAT ELSE ARE THEY NOT TELLING US????

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We were visiting family in Moline one winter and discovered things in the wild were not what they seemed. When we arrived it was so cold we could feel it as we breathed. It had snowed and where the snow ploughs had passed the banks of snow alongside the road were higher than we were.  We spent some time wandering round in the arsenal on the island to keep out of the snow. There is a vast array of guns on display, quite disconcerting for a non-American, but also very interesting from an historical view and well worth the visit. It was when we left there and drove along the Mississippi looking in disbelief at the frozen water we noticed holes in the ice with large stumps of wood beside them. Whilst we watched and discussed them a ‘stump’ suddenly darted forward and came up with a fish. It was a Bald Eagle doing its thing, we were fascinated and watched for several minutes to see if others did the same.  But our best day came just before our return home. We had gone for a drive and discovered a Cannel where the Bald Eagles were all over the trees. People were there doing what we were, looking and taking pictures.  The car park on our side of the cannel had a small wooded clearing and up in one of these trees was an eagle, head cocked to one side looking down at us with its beady eye. Not moving, with an expression of  ‘I’m watching you’ on its face; or perhaps it was saying ”here’s looking at you”!!! Either way a welcome memory. 

On our next visit, we were warned to be very careful when driving along the river as the Eagles were back and looking for nesting sites. People being so glad to see them were often not concentrating on the road and accidents were happening.  You can understand how, they made an impressive sight with their huge wing span and  grace.

Now many years later we live in a forest on the edge of a small National Park especially for the Eagles in this range of mountains. The mesa we live in front of is a favourite haunt of our eagles, of which there are several types. There is however a Fish Eagle that flies along the Ebro and yes watching it when driving is hazardous to your health the river road is narrow!!

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